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Soul Men Tries to be Sentimental

Published November 6, 2008 in Movie Reviews
By Fred Topel | Image property of Dimension Films
Soul Men PosterSoul Men
Finally, Samuel L. Jackson is saying motherf***er again. It feels like it's been so long since Samuel L. Jackson said motherf***er. I guess it's only been two years since Samuel L. Jackson last said motherf***er but I definitely needed it. Bernie Mac can say MF too.

Soul Men Review


The motherf***in' duo play two former bandmates who split up in the '70s. When their former frontman dies, they have a chance to perform a reunion at his funeral. Their road trip to the gig is full of conflict and bonding.

Samuel L. Jackson and Bernie Mac are the new Blues Brothers. Some of the stuff really is funny only because they're swearing. It reminded me of Eddie Murphy's R-rated days and how great some of those gratuitous comedies were.

The film is joyfully blatant with cute Photoshop gags, afro wigs, has-been musician clichés and overt sexual metaphors. The whole movies is fairly mild as their road adventures are never catastrophes. There's no real doubt that they'll make it to the show on time. It's just a mellow trip with some jokes along the way.


Mac plays sometimes obvious jokes with such sincerity that they work. I mean, a rectal joke really only works because Bernie Mac acts like it's the first rectal joke in the history of cinema. You get to see Jackson use his body for comedy, intensity and smooth grace. It's a rich performance that utilizes more of his talent than most of his dramas.

Like most modern comedies, Soul Men drags when it gets sentimental. Audiences are going to have to rise up and tell these filmmakers we just want our comedies funny. When they close the film with a real Bernie Mac tribute in the credits, it only makes the film's contrived sentimentality feel even lamer. Luckily, the rest of Soul Men is funny.

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Fred Topel
Sources: Image property of Dimension Films
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